Goodbye, Girls.

Girls, the coveted HBO series that concluded Sunday night, made being dubbed "a bitch" acceptable.

While I wasn't overly ecstatic about the way the series ended, all of the social media posts and press the writers and cast did leading up to the finale had me feeling sentimental, considering all of the ways the show has made me feel over the years and ultimately, how it allowed me to understand that embracing my personality was okay to do.

Let me backtrack - my whole life, I've been told by my peers, my friends, and my family that I was a "bitch." The first time I heart it, the brand hurt a little bit. I don't think any of them meant it maliciously. In fact, I think a lot of them were using it as a term of endearment. In attempts to explain the nickname, people would say that I was gutsy, that I wasn't afraid to speak my mind, and that I didn't care about what other people thought about me. Why, then, was "bitch" the choice word?

Even as a 14-year-old girl, I remember thinking "those are all really good qualities - personality traits that people aspire to have. If I exhibit those traits, why are people labeling them as 'being a bitch?'" In my head, a bitch was a nasty person with ugly habits of alienating others and making them feel stupid that no one wanted to be around.

In high school and college, I started wearing the title of "Bitch" like armor. I became known for my ability to speak my mind without repercussion. I was embraced for my unwavering attitude and my knack for driving a crowd to tears, laughing at the ways I would snuff my friends or dramatically review a bar on Yelp for serving me a drink in the wrong kind of glass.

It didn't matter how carefully I tried to structure a comment, an argument, even a question. People continued to call me a "bitch." And it wasn't consistent, it was every now and again. But it still bothered me. I don't even think people meant it anymore; they had just gotten used to using it to describe "me."

During the winter of 2014, without looking for an answer or even considering the fact that people thought I was a "bitch," I stumbled across Girls. It was a show with actors I had never heard of, but it was on HBO and it was about life, so I gave it a shot.

Maybe it was a long weekend, maybe I was on my Christmas break. Whatever it was, I had an extended amount of time to binge the first 3 seasons and fall in love with a cast that would change my personal outlook forever.

Hannah, Marnie, Shosh, and Jessa each reminded me of myself in different ways at different times, whether it was Hannah being overly dramatic and making a minor incident a quarter-life crisis, or Jessa tapping into her spirituality and announcing "I am unsmotable." Certain episodes made me laugh uncontrollably, while others made me cry actual tears because I related so deeply. The show was a perfect combination of situations that would never actually happen and some real-life shit. The writing was visceral and exciting and perfect.

Suddenly, I started to notice that being a "bitch" suddenly became the newest and coolest thing to be.
Thanks to the always-connected society we live in, I noticed people embracing these characters for their bitchy tendencies across the internet. I laughed, considering these characters and the show itself wasn't about being a "bitch" at all.

They were being girls. 

They were being strong, independent women trying to make their mark on the world.

You've heard it once and you'll hear it a million more times - being a strong and confident woman who is sure of herself, her mind, her personality and her sexuality, automatically translates into being a bitch.

Whatever you want to call it, my confidence is part of what makes me who I am. It allows me to stand up for myself when it's called for. It's what allows me to be a successful writer, both personally and professionally. And yeah, I'm going to chalk some of that confidence up to an HBO series that was written by Lena Dunham, who made my mind up for me that writing was going to be my purpose.

Girls opened the door for me and millions of other women to always be and embrace our truest self. I don't know what show will come next in terms of inspiration for me, but I can only hope it is as classy and wonderful and stupid and hilarious as Girls was.

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